The KonMari Method of Decluttering

Person holding up and inspecting a blue button down shirt with folded clothes on bed in foreground.

By now, you may have heard of the KonMari method of tidying up. This minimalist approach to keeping your home tidy and organized was created by Marie Kondo and promoted both in her book and on her Netflix series. The method has successfully been used by many to declutter their homes.

What Is the KonMari Method?

The KonMari method is Marie Kondo's minimalist-inspired approach to tackling your stuff category-by-category, rather than room-by-room. It teaches you to ask a simple question when you go about tidying up: Ask yourself if each item in your home sparks joy. If it doesn’t, get rid of it.

The appeal of Marie Kondo’s KonMari method is that it can be applied to all of the parts of your life. From folding your clothes to changing your perspective when it comes to your relationships!

To KonMari your life, there are five basic guidelines to follow:

  1. Commit yourself to tidying up. If you aren’t committed, it might be challenging to go through the process and let go of things that no longer spark joy.
  2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle. Picturing that uncluttered home or more organized life is a great motivation for staying committed to the process.
  3. Finish discarding first. Before getting rid of items, sincerely thank each item for serving its purpose.
  4. Tidy by category, not location. The order of the categories is established to make it easier to let go of items, so be sure to tidy by category and stick to the identified order.  
  5. Ask yourself if it sparks joy. Whether or not an item sparks joy is the deciding factor in determining whether to keep it.

KonMari Categories

Marie Kondo has carefully thought through how to make this process of decluttering work. It requires identifying which items to keep and which to toss by category, and in a specific order.

Here it is:

  1. Clothes
  2. Books
  3. Papers
  4. Komono (a.k.a. Miscellaneous Items)
  5. Sentimental Items

KonMari Cleaning Method

Are you ready to begin? The first step is removing everything in the category from its storage space and putting it into a large pile. So, start with clothing and pull out all your clothes from the closet and drawers onto a pile on the bed. Once that is complete, go item-by-item and ask yourself if each one “sparks joy.” While it may feel awkward at first, the process will seem more natural as you go.

Once you finish sorting clothing items and have decided what to keep, move the kept items back into your closets and drawers. It should already start to feel much more manageable with less clutter!

After you have finished with clothing, move on to the next category. Following the same method, you will then sort through your books, various papers, miscellaneous items and finally sentimental items.

Understanding the KonMari Method

During the process, Kondo suggests you visualize the life you want and what it is you need to get there. Any item that won't help on that journey isn't deserving of your space, or you, and should be let go.

Using the KonMari method is not about getting rid of things you no longer want, it’s about keeping things that spark joy. So, always think from a positive standpoint and simply ask yourself if something brings you happiness versus making a case for why it stresses you out.

Now that you’ve decluttered your closet, keep it organized! The experts at Molly Maid have some great ideas on how to keep your closet organized!

If you want to stay focused on organizing your home and let someone else take care of your home cleaning, give us a call or request a free estimate online.

Once you’ve completed the steps of the KonMari method, keep things organized with these tips from our friends at Neighborly® on maintaining a tidy home!